Fraud - System ID 170028
Agency Case # 16RIX1-2265-OF
December 16, 2016
Warwick : Banks/Retail
"CASH FOR GOLD DUST" SCAM
The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit and the Warwick Police Department Detective Division are attempting to identify two (2) male suspects involved in numerous “cash for gold dust” scams that have occurred in Warwick within the several months.
The initial correspondence with the victims is made by a suspect identifying himself as "Kelvin Markfish" who is involved in the mining of gold in South America. The victims are lead to believe that they will be transporting gold dust for the unknown 3rd party for a large profit.
On one occasion in December 2016, the suspects met with the victim at a hotel in Providence and have allowed the victims to view and test the gold dust. The suspects would then persuade the victims to pay them cash to cover the suspect’s expenses. After the suspects receive the money from the victims, the suspects swtich out the gold dust with fake dust and flee. The victim's are then out several thousands of dollars.
On another occasion in January 2017, a victim met with these same suspects at a gold/jewelry business in Warwick. At that time, the suspects were driving a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV with unknown registration. The suspects appear to utilize an unwitting clerk at the business to test a small quantity of the gold in the store. Once outside and in a vehicle, it appears that a "bait and switch" is employed. The gold is transferred to the victim in a locked Sentry safe. The victim is not provided with a key nor is the vicitm allowed to see or test the gold until after the suspects have left.
The investigation has revealed that these suspects have been to the same gold businesses in Warwick numerous times in the past 6 months. There are also variations to the same intial scam, but all involve gold dust.
Suspect #1 is described as a white male, bald, approximately 6’3" tall and possibly in his 50’s, with a muscular build and unknown accent. He has used the name "Timothy O’Brien" and provided a fraudulent Massachusetts License in that name. Additionally, Suspect #1 has used the name "Alex Picard". Suspect #1 is believed to have ties to Worcester, Massachusetts.
Suspect #2 is described as a black male, approximately 5’9" tall and possibly in his 40’s. He has used the name "Justice Afum".
Rhode Island State Police Detective Greg DeMarco at (401) 444-1205 or Warwick Police Detective Tom DiGregorio at (401) 468-4237.
If you have any information about the identity of this person or where they are, please contact:
Rhode Island State Police & Warwick Police Department:
Investigator: Det Greg DeMarco RISP & Det Tom Degregorio WPD
Case Submission No.: 170028